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North Florida Field Office

News Release - Manatee Protection Area enforcement in Sarasota County - June 22-23

For Immediate Release
Date: June 14, 2002
Release #: 006-02
Media Contacts:
Chuck Underwood 904/731-3332
Jim Rothschild 404/679-7291

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announces manatee zone enforcement next weekend

The United States Fish and Wildlife Service is asking for your help in reducing the number of boat related manatee deaths. The 2002 Florida boating season began with the highest manatee mortality attributed to boat strikes in recent history.

In an effort to minimize manatee boat strikes, the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service and other law enforcement agencies will be strictly enforcing manatee speed zones in Sarasota County during the upcoming weekend: June 22-23.

Remember when the boat speed restriction in a posted manatee zone indicates SLOW SPEED, MINIMUM WAKE your boat is fully settled in the water, not plowing (including not going on or coming off plane) and creating only a small wake.

When the boat speed restriction in a posted manatee zone indicates IDLE SPEED, NO WAKE - your boat is traveling at the lowest speed needed to maintain steering and is not producing any wake.

Please operate your boat responsibly and obey the manatee speed zones in your county. With your help, the manatee will be around for future generations to enjoy.

For more information on manatees and manatee recovery, visit us online at http://www.fws.gov/northflorida or call us at 904-232-2580.

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Last modified January 14, 2004